Developing a Comprehensive Ergonomics Training Program to Prevent Musculoskeletal Diseases in Construction Workers

Abstract

Construction is a high hazard industry that has a high prevalence of musculoskeletal diseases. The goal of the All the Right Moves study is to improve workerÍs health through utilizing construction site programs. A critical program component includes an ergonomics training for foremen and safety managers to help them develop the skills necessary to complete a comprehensive pre-task plan. Utilizing resources from NIOSHÍs Simple Solutions and other evidence based approaches, the trainingÍs objective is to enable foremen and safety managers on site to be able to identify common overexertion hazards and mitigate those hazards through pre-task planning. Overexertion hazards covered in the 60 minute training include manual materials handling, overhead work and floor and ground level work. Utilizing a discussion based training approach, the workers are encouraged to identify hazards they have come across at work, and each hazard is then talked about from a physiological standpoint to highlight the complexity of the human body and the negative effects of overexertion. Areas of the body covered from a physiological viewpoint include the spine, the shoulder complex and the knee joint. Solutions include keeping as much work as possible within the strike zone, and when unable to do so, utilize task modification to decrease overexertion. Post training the workers will fill out an updated pre-task plan keeping in mind overexertion hazards and ergonomic solutions. The program will be piloted on a worksite and evaluated later this year.